The True Meaning of Separation of Church and State
As we anticipate a threshold to occur in our nation’s assimilation of the true interpretation of “separation of church and state” we can adhere that we must pursue its truth and establish its intent in the hearts and minds of our nation. Above all misconceptions, misuse, or reprisals we affirm this truth to be faithful to our protections and principles as the church body, and for the use of all freedom of religious expression and rights. In a most pressing time of great defiance and debate over religious rights, it is a term that has been deceptively altered and applied in contrast to its beginnings, and the overall application of such.
The term is a derived phrase of, “wall of separation between church and state,” as written in Thomas Jefferson’s letter to the Danbury Baptists Association back in the year 1802. The original text reads: ” …I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should ‘make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,’ thus building a wall of separation between Church & State.” Jefferson speaking in the content that the government is not to interfere with religion or the free exercise of.
This well-known phrase was quoted in the United States Supreme Court in 1878, and then in a series of cases starting in 1947. The phrase “separation of church and state” itself does not appear in the United States Constitution, unlike many thinks. This First Amendment states that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment or regards to the free exercise of, it does not state that its citizens as believers were not to partake or perform in any active duty, community activity or becoming involved in the right to vote or speaking, in regards to governmental matters, running for political office or governmental positions.
More so, it also does not require a voter to exercise their vote against their own conscience in what they perceive to be wrongful or against their religious belief. As free citizens, we may counter and resist certain practices or policies that could jeopardize our freedom of religion or expression, pertaining to what we believe is a conflict of interest and individuality to exercise the free will of. It is at this moment of decision that we should not separate our vote from our heart’s conviction, simply to accommodate someone else’s voting preference. One individual within itself can be narrated as “state and church” all in one body, in one voice, and in one vote.
As a law-abiding and free-standing citizen, we are the state and must act accordingly to our best ability to comprehend the current issues and consider all angles, but yet commit to our preference of identity, and by no means be obliged to subdue to what is contrary to our well being or overall choice. It is at this pivotal point where we also are “the church” for the church is not the four walls that some would like to limit us to, or the voice that some would like to silence us while jeopardizing our first amendment free speech rights. The church is the active body of individuals that have the best intention not only to serve our citizens respectfully, but to firstly honor our creator by pledging to keep his higher authority, principles, and teachings alive and active not only in us but outwardly in our daily lives and the lives of those around us.